Kick off Year of the Rat in style

New Tang Dynasty TV, a nonprofit Chinese-language broadcaster, showcases the beauty of the ancient East in the Chinese New Year Spectacular. In the touring show, legends come to life, warriors clash and goddesses descend from above.

The lavishly staged production summons 5,000 years of history, featuring classical Chinese dancers, international vocalists and a live orchestra. Promoters bill the extravaganza as the largest lunar new year celebration outside of mainland China.

The 2008 tour takes the production to 50 cities worldwide. Local performances are at 2 and 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday except 8 p.m. only Thursday. The theater is located at 1192 Market St., San Francisco. Tickets are $28 to $180; call (415) 512-7770 or visit www.shnsf.com.

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